Green Card Photo Requirements

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Find a Lawyer

Why Do I Need Photos for My Visa or Green Card Application?

All visas require photos for identification purposes.  To guarantee an accurate image, your photo must be taken within six months of your immigration application.

Also, you should be aware that immigration agencies now sometimes employ the use of fingerprinting and possibly other forms of biometrics to identify persons.  For example, the Secure Communities Program uses fingerprints to identify possible deportees. 

What Type of Photo is Required?

In General

While some photographers are familiar with the requirements of immigration photographs, it is best to arrive prepared with the most up-to-date information available.

It is important that you follow all the requirements for green card photos.  Failure to submit a proper photograph could result in a denied application. 
Photograph requirements are generally the same for green card (permanent resident status), U.S. visa, and passports.  However, the “Diversity Visa Lottery” category uses different photo requirements. 

Photo Size & Type  

Photos must be unmounted and measure 2 by 2 inches.  While the photo may be in color or black and white, the background may only be white or off-white. Photos with dark, busy, or patterned backgrounds are not accepted.

Photo Positioning

Your face should cover about 50 percent of the photo and be centered in the frame. You should face the camera directly and not look down or to either side.  Side or angled views are not accepted.

Your Appearance

The purpose of these photos is to clearly show your face. Therefore, you will benefit from respecting the following guidelines regarding head coverings and accessories:

Do I Need A Lawyer?

While an immigration lawyer is most likely not the one taking your immigration photo, he or she can offer you applicable and current information regarding visa or green card regulations and aid you in preparing your application or replacing a lost green card.

Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 01-11-2011 01:43 PM PST

Find the Right Lawyer Now

Did you find this article informative?

Link to this page

Law Library Disclaimer

Green Card Photo Requirements, green card,immigration law,immigration photo,head coverings,immigration,photo,visa,date,identification,benefit,guidelines